Friday 29 March 2019

Guest Author Traci Ison Schafer of Ada, Oklahoma

Who can resist a free story?

I discovered Traci’s kind offer on Twitter and read her short story – To Save a Girl.  I’m glad I did. To Save a Girl is well written with great dialogue. A visitor to Earth saves a young lady’s life, against all rules regarding such encounters. A happy ending. (I love happy endings.)

Traci is an award winning author. She has graciously agreed to a 4Q Interview and to share a chapter of her novel – The Anuan Legacy.

Traci Ison Schafer lives in Ada, Oklahoma, and is a Price Analyst for the United States Air Force. She’s a native of Ohio and started her career at the infamous Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which she used as the backdrop for her first book, the science fiction novel The Anuan Legacy.

Traci is current Past President of the Oklahoma City Writers (OKCW) and is an officer on the Executive Board of the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation (OWFI) were she serves as Second Vice President. She also remains active in the writing community in the Dayton, Ohio, area where she’s a founding member of the critique group The Plot Sisters (est. 2012) and has served as a panelist at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton.

Traci has a master’s degree in business, a bachelor’s degree in science education, and has earned teaching certifications in several science fields including physics, astronomy, and earth science. She’s curious about all things beyond this physical world such as aliens, reincarnation, and psychic abilities, making them among her favorite writing topics.

Traci’s writing has earned several awards, including winner of the National Indie Excellence Award in Science Fiction and finalist for the Independent Author Network Science Fiction Book of the Year. When not busy writing, Traci enjoys spending time with her family.


4Q: Your bio tells us of your curiosity with aliens, reincarnation and psychic abilities and how these are your favorite writing subjects. Considering each one of these topics, do you believe in them?

TIS: Yes, I do! All of them. I think there are so many things beyond what we can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. People tend to be skeptical of things they can’t verify with these five “hard” senses. The human eye can only detect a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (the visible light portion), but that doesn’t mean the rest doesn’t exist. It does. We’ve found other ways, beyond those five senses, to prove that. I think it’s that way with other things as well. A human body, and what scientific means we’ve developed so far, can only verify a small portion of what this universe is all about, but that doesn’t mean there’s not more. We just haven’t figured it all out yet. Aliens, for example. There are trillions and trillions of galaxies, each containing trillions and trillions of stars, many of which support planets. I just can’t believe that our planet is the one and only planet that sustains any kind of intelligent life. Scientist have discovered that other planets outside of our own solar system could sustain life, but I think even they are looking at things too narrowly, because they’re looking for planets that would be similar to our own. What if other life forms exist that don’t breathe the same kind of air we breathe or live within the same temperature ranges that we survive within. We need to open our imaginations to possibilities beyond what we already know. Our science-fiction of today could be the reality of tomorrow.

4Q: Tell us about The Anuan Legacy. What inspired this story.

TIS:  I’ve always loved astronomy and was a big fan of Star Wars growing up, and later, of Star Trek. I also loved watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. So, I’ve always had my eyes to the stars. Combine that with my job location and it was a no-brainer. I’m originally from Ohio and started my career at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. I worked there for many years before relocating to Oklahoma. If you’re not familiar with Wright-Patt, it’s rumored to have received the Aliens from the Roswell, New Mexico, space ship crash back in 1947. So, mix the government, captive aliens, adventures in space, throw in a little romance along the way, and you’ve got The Anuan Legacy.

4Q:   Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

TIS:  I’ll share one that’s in-line with the subject matter. I grew up back when it was safer for a child to be out and about without supervision (or at least people thought so). Well, my mom would give me a certain time to be home, but when it would start to get dark, I couldn’t resist stretching out on the top of the neighborhood playground’s monkey bars (that couldn’t have been comfortable, but I never noticed) to watch the stars. I’d tell Mom my watch was slow or had stopped. She must have thought I was terrible at winding my watch. Or maybe she had her eye on me after all, because I don’t recall ever getting in trouble.  Maybe I just pushed that part out of my memory. Lol.

4Q: Every author, artist or musician has that special “place” where they feel most creative, be it a room of their own or an office, in complete silence or with music playing, etc. What’s yours like?

TIS:  Pretty much anywhere that I can find a desk or table and relative quiet. It doesn’t have to be dead silence. White noise is okay. But I’m not one who can write on the couch in front of a tv. Probably the most unusual place I’ve ever written was in a closet. When I worked in black world programs, I couldn’t have my laptop with me. I had to store it in a locker outside the classified area. At lunch I’d retrieve my laptop and go to a locked walk-in closet, also outside the classified area, that had a counter where people could leave their phones or personal laptops. I’d punch in the code, push all the electronics aside, and set up on that counter to write. I startled quite a few people who popped in for their phones during lunch and found me sitting there.

4Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

TIS: Yes. I’d like to thank all my readers for their support. I love hearing from them on social media and meeting them at events. I look forward to meeting more in the future.

Also, for those who’ve asked about another book, I should have The Anuan Legacy, Book 2, out sometime later this year. If anybody would like updates, they can sign up for that on my website or follow me on social media. I’m most active on twitter and Facebook, but also have an Instagram account.

An Excerpt – The Anuan Legacy.


“Gaige, you’ll be entering Earth’s atmosphere in ten seconds,” Nav said over the open mission channel.
“Got it, Nav.” I scanned the cockpit readouts to verify that all of the diagnostics still checked out. They did.
“Five seconds.”
I braced for the change in velocity.
“Prepare for entry in three, two, one . . .”
Just as I hit the thick atmosphere from the vacuum of space, cockpit warnings blared and diagnostic projections flashed by as the auto-systems tried to pinpoint the problem.
“Nav, something’s wrong with the shuttle!” I shouted.
“We know. We think an unexpectedly strong solar burst knocked out your Lexon system. We’re working it from here.”
The diagnostic projections continued to scroll through the air in front of me, still searching for the problem.
“There’s no time,” I said. “I’ll have to land it mentally.” Telekinesis was nothing new to an Anuan, but controlling something that large would be more than a challenge. It would be a miracle.
“Our readings show the electromagnetic interference on Earth’s atmosphere caused by the burst won’t settle down for another few Earth minutes. Be careful what you’re opening yourself up to, Gaige.”
“I don’t have a choice.” The shuttle was going down one way or another. I could take control or die. “Override!”
The warnings fell silent and the cockpit diagnostics faded. The remaining displays dimmed. The shuttle was all mine. I reached forward and touched the control panel. My hands trembled with surging adrenaline until I pressed them so firmly against the panel they couldn’t budge. I wouldn’t be able to land the craft and maintain a cloaking shield at the same time, but I’d have to worry about being detected later.

The shuttle vibrated under the stress of friction with Earth’s atmosphere. Opening my mind, I directed my mental willpower into the shuttle. Slow to entry speed! Still, the vibrations rocked the shuttle. If I didn’t get the shuttle’s speed down, it would break apart under the continued force of entry. I focused everything I could pull from within myself at the shuttle. It slowed—not quite to a normal entry speed—but close enough to ease some of the stress on the craft.
Trying to manage the shuttle was depleting me, not just mentally, but physically, too. The unstable electromagnetic energy in Earth’s atmosphere from the solar burst wasn’t helping. I couldn’t maintain control of the shuttle much longer. Dusk had already started to settle over the area, but the night vision filter of the windshield allowed me to easily see Earth’s barren winter trees—lots of them. My eyes scanned for a clearing among all the trees. In the far distance, toward the northwest, I found one. You can make that.
I leaned my body and my mind toward the clearing and willed the shuttle in that direction. The craft glided above the treetops.
Slow to hover. The shuttle paused and hung suspended in the air over the open stretch of land.
Landing mode and down. Drained, I struggled to keep control. My energy level wavered. The craft shuddered then crashed to the ground with a hard jolt that slammed me forward in my restraint.
I laid my head back against the seat, exhausted. Stretching each arm and leg, wiggling fingers and toes, I seemed to be in one piece. But every part of me ached—especially my brain. It felt like an icepick had been driven through my temples.

Dusk offered some visual cover, but I could have easily been detected on radars since I hadn’t been able to maintain a cloak during the landing. A stream of sweat ran down the side of my face. I didn’t have enough energy to wipe it away, let alone hide a shuttle.
“Gaige? Ship to Gaige.”
I heard the static-riddled communications coming from my crippled shuttle, barely, but couldn’t gather enough energy to answer.
“Ship to Gaige. Respond!”
“Yeah.” With some effort, I got the sigh of a word out.
“We’re evaluating your medical values now—,” Nav said.
“Gaige,” another voice interrupted. “This is Mission Commander. I’m sending Conner down with a rescue team as soon as the burst energy subsides. Shouldn’t be more than another five Earth minutes.”
His words sent a small surge of adrenaline through my body, giving me enough energy to protest. “Tas, no! I mean, Commander, permission to—”
“You can’t stay down there like that,” Tas said. “I’m sending a team to get you.”
“Please, Commander . . .” I couldn’t let my situation affect the mission. I drew in a deep breath, trying to hold on to the quickly fading adrenaline. “I request some time to recover the situation on my own.” I took another breath. “One of us in this area is enough, maybe too much already. Remember, we can’t overwhelm her.”
There was silence and then, finally, Tas answered. “Request granted. But I’ll have Conner and the rescue team on standby. If we don’t receive a positive report from you in fifteen Earth minutes, I’m sending them. Understood?”
I couldn’t respond. Our short exchange had taken what little energy I’d regained. I knew I had to fix the shuttle, get it cloaked, and move it somewhere away from the current site. But I could barely stay conscious.
“Gaige? This is Tas. Are you still with us?”
Yeah, I’m with you.
No energy left . . . to stay . . . awake . . .

To discover more about Traci and her stories, please follow these links.


Thank you Traci for being our special guest this week. Wishing you continued success with your future stories.

Thank you! It’s been my pleasure.

Thank you to all you visitors for stopping by the Scribbler. Please take a moment and leave us a comment.

Sunday 24 March 2019

Guest Author Andrea Merchak of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Another first for the Scribbler!

Andrea is our first guest from Brazil. So happy to have her here for a 4Q Interview and she has kindly offered to share an excerpt of her work.

Andrea Merchak was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she still lives. She graduated in journalism and worked as a freelance journalist for a while. Currently, besides writing books, she creates book trailers and book covers for a living.

She’d have never thought of being an author until her sister came up with the idea. But ever since Andrea published her first book, she’s never thought of doing anything else other than writing.

Her debut novel, “Bloody Legends”, was so well-received by readers that it became a series with the release of the exciting prequel “Bloody Origin”. The Bloody Series is about a vicious serial killer who finds himself bored with killing only prostitutes and homeless people, so he creates themes to commit the most heinous crimes and satiate his darkest desires.

Andrea released a short story, “Deadly Senses”, as part of the horror anthology “Death & Pestilence” with other writers. Her latest release, “Crowley’s Cult”, is a blend of horror, supernatural, and erotica. She is currently writing “Bloody Puzzle”, Book 2 of the Bloody Series, and “Fragments of Horror”, a collection of 12 short stories.

Writing is her greatest joy, and Andrea will always find new ways to intrigue and scare the wits out of you.

4Q: After a visit to your website – – I discovered your love for writing horror thrillers. Please share with us why you are drawn to this genre.

AM: To tell you the truth, I’m not sure if even I know what drew me to horror. But as far back as I can remember, I was always drawn to horror, since I was a young kid. I’ve always loved that feeling of dread that horror stories provoke. The darker, gorier, and scarier, the better. You can call me crazy, but horror is fascinating. It arouses all our senses. I love the adrenaline running through my veins, my heart beating fast, the suspense. I just love it! Though it’d be perfect if horror only existed in fiction, of course.

4Q: Please tell us about your latest novel and the excerpt you are sharing with us.

AM: “Crowley’s Cult” is a dark horror story with elements of supernatural, erotica, and mystery. Its protagonist, Zane, is a renowned painter who moves with his fiancĂ©e to a centennial building famous for its macabre history. Zane’s presence unleashes a dark shadow from the past. Past and present come together in a clash of sinister and bizarre happenings, taking the couple down a path of sex, murder, and violence.

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote with us.

AM: I have a memory from when I was about 4-5 years old. My sister and I used to wait until our parents went to bed – which by the way was where we supposed to be – to sneak into the living room and turn the TV on to watch old horror movies. But since we were both too young, we ended up screaming to our daddy to come turn on the lights because we were scared to death. Every single time, he used to scold us and try to convince us to go back to bed, but we always begged him to stay with us and watch until the show ended. It always worked. I think we can say this memory is kind of an anecdote, isn’t it?

Another memory just occurred to me. My dad had quite horror a collection of magazines on shelves in his home office. I used to spend a lot of time there when I was a teenager, reading them. I guess my dad would love my stories.

4Q: Every author or artist has that special “place” where we are the most creative, the sounds, the surroundings, etc. What is your work world like?

AM: My creative special place is inside my head. I know it may sound odd, but it’s true. I’m not able to turn my mind off. No matter what I’m doing, I’m always thinking about something. Sometimes I’m watching TV and suddenly an idea comes to mind. It’s usually not related to what I’m watching. I watch people on streets and places, and stories come into my mind. Again, they’re probably not directly related to them. I borrowed this trait for my Zane character. I found it interesting for his inspiration to come the same way as mine. Of course, there are times when I’m reading or watching the news and it inspires me in some way, but that’s not the usual case.

4Q: Anything else you’d like to tell us about?

AM: I’m currently writing “Bloody Puzzle” (Book 2 of my Bloody Series), and concomitantly short stories for my book “Fragments of Horror”. Visit my website and subscribe to my list to win an exclusive preview of a short story that will be part of this book.

Also, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to be here and share a little about myself with all these amazing Scribbler’s readers. I hope you all enjoyed being here as much as I did.

An Excerpt from Crowley’s Cult – Part of Chapter 2.

(Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission)

A few days later, Zane’s in his art studio. It’s a large room with glass doors that he leaves open when he’s painting, even in winter. The view from there is spectacular. That part of the garden was designed from his own drawings. It has a stone-rimmed koi pond filled with beautiful carp of various colors.

Despite the incessant text messages and phone calls, he feels compelled to paint. He takes a palette and squeezes paint from a few tubes onto it. As usual, he positions the easel so that he can admire the view outside, though his paintings have absolutely nothing to do with what he sees.

At first, Zane feels strange. The feeling of being watched persists, and it bothers him. He starts painting, using mostly red and purple. The strokes come almost instinctively. As the painting takes shape, he feels a deep ecstasy.

Only a few hours later, the painting is complete. He’s astonished at how he finished painting such a large canvas in such a short time. Furthermore, he’d had no source of inspiration from which to paint. For the first time, Zane hadn’t seen the final image in his mind before starting to paint. He’d just painted what he was feeling without realizing it.

Zane looks more closely at the painting. Although the image can still be easily identified as his creation, the sexual content is so explicit that it frightens him. Suddenly, he senses a presence admiring the painting behind him, so close that he can feel the breath on his neck. Zane turns around so quickly that he almost falls off his seat. But there’s no one there.

He giggles nervously and feels silly for being spooked by his own imagination. But even though he’s alone in the house, he still has the feeling that there’s someone watching him.

As soon as he finishes painting, Zane feels exhausted and decides to take a shower. He enters the master suite’s sizable walk-in closet, a well-organized space. The two side walls are lined with shelves and drawers and, there’s a large island in the middle with compartments for underwear, fashion accessories, and jewelry. Here, the windows have sandblasted glass for privacy.

He’s reminded of the day Olivia moved in. How is it possible you don’t use even half of this space? I’m lucky, I can fill it all up with my clothes and shoes, she’d said. He looks around and smiles, remembering how he’d let her take control of the room.

Zane takes off his shirt and shorts and drops them on the closet floor as usual. In the shower, he decides to surprise Olivia later with a romantic dinner.

He finishes showering and returns to the closet. But while he’s getting clean shorts, he notices that the clothes he’d left on the floor are now atop the island. He’s puzzled, because he knows he has a ‘bad habit’ of leaving his clothes lying on the floor, as Olivia always reminds him.

He looks all around, trying to figure out what’s happening. Then his cell phone rings, startling him. His mysterious caller comes to mind, making him uneasy. He dresses quickly and answers the call. But it’s Wes.

“Hey, I was almost giving up,” says Wes. “Too busy to answer calls from your friends?”

“I was in the shower.”

“Take your cell in there from now on, so you can quickly answer when I call,” Wes says as if he were giving an order. But then he laughs.

Zane’s distracted for a moment, thinking again about the dirty clothes on the island.

“Zane? Still there?”

“Oh, yeah, sorry. I’m dressing while I’m talking,” he says, not sure why he lied.

“Okay. So, I’m calling because the guys are planning to go to a new club…”

Zane interrupts his friend. “I can’t. I already have plans for tonight,” he says bluntly.

“Okay. Next time then.”

They chat a little longer, and when they hang up Zane forgets that the clothes weren’t where he’d left them.

Thank you, Andrea, for being our guest this week and sharing your thoughts and story. For those interested in Andrea and her novels, please follow these links.

Website –

E-mail –

Twitter – @AndieMerchak

Amazon Author Central –

GoodReads –

Book Bub –

Patreon –

Facebook –

Links to the books:

Bloody Legends –

Bloody Origin –

Crowley’s Cult –

Death & Pestilence –

A huge Thank You to all you fabulous readers that make the Scribbler so much fun.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Part 3 of Logbox - a story by S.C.Eston

As promised - Part three of Steve's entertaining story

Part one - GO HERE
Part two - GO HERE

Mr Eston Is back.

 Steve was a guest recently on the Scribbler. If you missed his previous visit and bio, please go here. Since then I’ve been visiting his website - -  and reading his short stories. I really enjoyed Logbox and he’s kind enough to share it with us this week in three parts.

Part one - Sunday March 17 
Part two – Tuesday March 19
Part three – Today 

(Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission)

Nothing is the same.
For the first time in a long while, I think. I have thoughts, and I can’t control any of them. I’m thinking about escape…
Of all things: escape!
How ludicrous is that?
I can’t stop the thoughts.
I think about Garadia, about the Low Lands.
Even the Red Streets.
Can I allow myself to think about it as home?
It doesn’t end there.
I think about what I would do if I could return.
I would find the old brick tower. Make a bed there. Something small to start. Just a room or even the corner of a room. Maybe even use the same space that was mine before I left.
Then I would repair the place. Repaint. Rebuild.
I would need work. Something real. Something true. Something that could bring me stuff, stuff to trade.
There would be no cheating this time. I would play by the rules.
My brothers. I would search for their story, learn now what I should have known then.
More importantly, I would apologize. I would have many apologies to make.
It seems right.
It is a dream.
These hopes are never to happen. Even if I was to return one day, I could not go back to the Red Streets. It is a strange thing that the mind tries so hard to forget the bad, to make it bearable. Even if my head does not remember the reality, my heart knows it hasn’t changed.

Maybe I could look for Anedia’s family? Or some of her friends? I always wanted to go to the Floating City. We all despise it, but we all want to walk its streets.
There have to be some people who would remember her, who would have cared for her. Not her father. But her mother, surely. I realize I don’t even know if she had brothers, sisters…I could find them and give them this device.
Her voice is on it.

The recording stopped in disintegrating white noise.
The man looked down at the device on top of his desk. It was a box, grayish, showing marks of time and use, covered in scratches. It was not impressive, but it had survived where almost nothing else had.
“So this is it?” he asked, slowly spinning the drink in his hand. The transparent orange liquid swirled in circles, creating a miniature typhoon.
“It is,” said the woman sitting across from him, her legs crossed, her head high.
“Not what I had expected.”
The woman didn’t say anything. Her black suit was impeccable. Her short hair was moist, making the red streak in it look as if it was ablaze. She had just returned from the latest sweep.
“How can you be certain this is the source?” he asked.
“It is still transmitting,” answered the woman. “We don’t know how to stop it.”
He nodded, impressed.
The message had traversed a few billion kilometers to reach them, halfway across the system, loud and clear, on a secret frequency. Not only that, but the box had been constructed from a wide array of disparate materials and pieces. It looked like a logbox, but it was a distress beacon.
Their scientists, with all their knowledge and equipment, had not been able to stop the signal.
Impressive indeed.
He took a sip and felt the satisfying burn as the liquid descended down his throat.
“You’ve analyzed the voice, I assume? Of the girl, and found it is the same as the one on the distress call?”
“We have, and it is.”
“What is her name?” Names didn’t stay easily with him.
“Yes, right. And you didn’t find her body?”
“No, we didn’t.” He heard regret there. “Based on the recording, it was to be expected. Her remains would have been dumped into space with other waste.”

“Did you crawl the data-sphere?”
“We have, using her voice pattern. We found her. As stated by the recording, she is a Promient of pure blood. She was studying frequency engineering. The daughter of Daram, ex-director of the innovation department of Bio-Ex. Her disappearance was reported by her mother on the first day of the sixth season, cycle 2453. Strangely, the request for help was retracted a few days later, this time by her father. We know she wasn’t found, so the father had other reasons for halting the search. The next season, the mother committed suicide by jumping off a tram on the northern fringes, falling through the clouds. A search party was sent to look for her, but the body was never recovered. The following cycle, 2454, an explosion hit one of Bio-Ex’s labs in the X quadrant. Daram was one of the 121 casualties. He had no surviving kin, and his estate, as well as all his assets and data, passed on to Bio-Ex.”
“The nature of the explosion?”
“Filed as accidental.”
“Staged,” he corrected.
He offered the woman a drink. She refused, as she had done a few minutes earlier. As she always did. He took a sip from his glass, savouring it, taking his time.
The whole matter was an incredible turn of events. They had been searching for the asteroid mines for years now, without luck. Just a season ago, he had been pressured to cancel the mission. The whole project was in jeopardy.
Then the distress call reached them. Out of nowhere. A single feminine voice asking for help, over and over.
“You realize,” he said, nodding at the small object on the desk, “that we would never have found this place without help?”
“I do,” admitted the woman. “I just wish you would have got here sooner.”
“I know,” admitted the man. His armada had answered, although not nearly as swiftly as he would have liked. Certainly not as quickly as the woman has responded. She was a loner. He had superiors to placate, politics to play. They had already discussed the matter, and she knew how grateful he was for her assistance. He wished he could also thank this Anedia personally. “How many were we able to free?”
“Five hundred and eleven. Half will recover with minor scars. A quarter are in especially bad shape. Of these, some have been altered or augmented. We suspect bio-experimentation. The other quarter are sick and weak, and some will probably not make it. We estimate the mine had over two thousand captives.”
The result was devastating. So many lost, not even counting their own. Yet it provided the proof they needed. The project would continue now. There was no doubt about that. Funding would flow in. More flying crafts would be provided. Resources. Technologies made available. There would be no limit.
But the cost had been terribly high.
“We should talk again before you leave,” he said. “Get some rest. Deserved rest.”

The woman stood and stared through the sole window of the office. The man followed her gaze. Far away, in the dark of space, the remains of the asteroids could be seen. The explosion had been powerful and had almost taken down their craft. The repair bots were outside, fixing and patching. The grinding could be heard and felt through the floor. It would be several more days before they would be able to fly again.
“This was only one of many,” she said. “It is said there are a thousand camps out there.”
“One at a time,” he said. “It is the best we can do.”
But he didn’t feel the confidence he was trying to convey.
“We’ll talk before I leave,” she said, turning away.
As the doors opened to let her out, a thought came to him.
“And this man,” he said, “this Nethu, what about him?”
The woman stopped and turned his way. For the first time since her return, she gave him a tired but genuine smile.
“We found him. The device was hidden under his cot, behind a loose stone. He lives.”

The End

Thank you Steve for sharing your story.

Thank you readers for following. Please visit Steve's website to learn more about this talented author and his work.

Don't forget to leave a comment!